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Successful Constructive Dismissal Claim

In Case UD 371/2014, the EAT heard that the claimant had been employed as a driver for a bakery for over 10 years before she left as she was unable to continue working due to the failure of the Company to deal with issues she was having with  colleagues.

The claimant outlined that her colleague called her a "bitch", hit her with trolleys and obstructed her work and she lodged a formal complaint, which she was unhappy with in terms of outcomes and how it had been dealt with. The claimant said she was then subjected to a disciplinary process after lodging the complaint but it was found that she had no case to answer.

The claimant then lodged another complaint against her manager but due to the length of time it was taking to deal with the complaint she felt she could not remain in the workplace and resigned. The claimant said the Company were not genuinely concerned about dealing with her complaints over a period of three years which had caused her to suffer medically and to be absent from work and ultimately it got to the stage where she could take no more and left.

The Company gave evidence of trying to deal with the claimant's grievances and of attempted mediation as well as indicating that the outcome of the investigation concluded that no bullying had occurred.  The Company said they saw nothing wrong with having the person against whom bullying had been alleged attending the meeting that HR had with the claimant in respect of her complaint.  The Company were unable to explain delays in dealing with the claimant's travel expenses or in forwarding her P45 and holiday pay owed.

The EAT determined that the high burden of proof required in a constructive dismissal case had been met and the employee had no option but to leave.

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